Fortune's Rocks

Fortune's Rocks

A Novel

Large Print - 1999 | First large print edition.
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On a beach in New Hampshire at the turn of the last century, a young woman is drawn into a rocky, disastrous passage to adulthood. Olympia Biddeford is the only child of a prominent Boston couple. A precocious and well-educated daughter, she is alive with ideas and flush with the first stirrings of maturity. Her summer at the family's vacation home in Fortune's Rocks is transformed by the arrival of a doctor, a friend of her father's, whose new book about mill-town laborers has caused a sensation. Olympia is captivated by his thinking, his stature, and his drive to do right even as she is overwhelmed for the first time by irresistible sexual desire. She and the doctor a married man, a father, and nearly three times her age come together in an unthinkable, torturous, hopelessly passionate affair. Throwing aside propriety and self-preservation, Olympia plunges forward with cataclysmic results that are the price of straying in an unforgiving era. Olympia is cast out of the world she knows, and Fortune's Rocks is the story of her determination to reinvent her broken life and claim the one thing she finds she cannot live without.
Publisher: New York :, Random House Large Print,, [1999]
©1999.
Edition: First large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©1999.
ISBN: 9780375430527
0375430520
Characteristics: 676 pages (large print) ; 25 cm.
Summary: On a beach in New Hampshire at the turn of the last century, a young woman is drawn into a rocky, disastrous passage to adulthood. Olympia Biddeford is the only child of a prominent Boston couple. A precocious and well-educated daughter, she is alive with ideas and flush with the first stirrings of maturity. Her summer at the family's vacation home in Fortune's Rocks is transformed by the arrival of a doctor, a friend of her father's, whose new book about mill-town laborers has caused a sensation. Olympia is captivated by his thinking, his stature, and his drive to do right even as she is overwhelmed for the first time by irresistible sexual desire. She and the doctor a married man, a father, and nearly three times her age come together in an unthinkable, torturous, hopelessly passionate affair. Throwing aside propriety and self-preservation, Olympia plunges forward with cataclysmic results that are the price of straying in an unforgiving era. Olympia is cast out of the world she knows, and Fortune's Rocks is the story of her determination to reinvent her broken life and claim the one thing she finds she cannot live without.

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Chidad
Feb 24, 2018

I read "The Pilot's Wife" last year, and thought it one of the finest recent works in fiction that I had read in some time. And, while I usually read non-fiction (Biography, history, etc) most of my fiction reading revolves around mysteries, for those moments of pure entertainment. Facing a long commute, with no bookstore in sight, I hit the Little Free Library in my neighborhood, finding this volume, and after several pages found myself immersed in this fine novel. As an English Lit minor in college, I am attracted to, still, re-reads of Wharton, James, etc and into this tradition has stepped Anita Shreve, with her finely developed talent for atmosphere, time and place, and total command of dialogue, which made this book my companion for over a week, and often I deliberately, stopped, often, to anticipate what lay ahead. Certainly, Olympia Biddeford is one of the great heroines of fiction. Headstrong, passionate, sure and wise, she enters the illicit relationship with Dr. Haskell, pulled by both her soul and bodily desire. Along the way, she stumbles, gets up, and stumbles again, to accept a finality that seems obvious, or is it? Shreve's female characters are gloriously flawed as well as talented, and this one does not disappoint. The backdrop of the wealthy Bostonians summering alongside the nearby poor Franco American mill workers is also a subtle back story, on class and its privileges. Part of a trilogy, that has the house serve as a continuum for drama and passion, for many decades, is a nice touch, that in lesser hands might seem maudlin. But, for Shreve, she wins it all. Do read this book.

i
IV27HUjg
Mar 01, 2015

Read in 2001 & liked it.Reread 2015 - find it slow to get going with lots of young girl coming of age angst, love/lust for older man. Ah, but when it gets into the story it's believable & rewarding. Shreve tells a great story with flowing words.

a
avalon_3
Nov 09, 2014

One of my favorite Anita Shreve's. The appearance of the fabled New Hampshire house that has been described in her other novels, peaks my interest once again. The description of how this house becomes part of yet another generation's life and what happens to the characters of this time draws me in every time.

j
JackieFC13
Jan 08, 2014

This is a hard review to write because the topic of the book wasn't something that I like reading about but the writing and the feelings of the characters were so beautiful. It was absolutely addicting to find out what happened next. This isn't a light read but it isn't as heavy as a classic. I did not enjoy reading about a 41 year old and a 15 year old falling in love and causing the greatest scandal Fortune's Rocks has ever seen. The book was slightly predictable in the events through out the book but it was still a fantastic read. The reason it is 3 stars is only because I don't like the topic of the book - a married man cheats on his wife with a 15 year old girl and both lives are destroyed. I will definitely read more by this author because the writing style is so engrossing. Please don't discount the book because of the topic because it really was a great read. I enjoyed it.

s
Susan_King
Feb 05, 2011

p. 400

JanyteDanute Jan 22, 2010

Loved the poetry and stunning details of a beautiful romance.

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